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Taking Charge of Your Health


hey everybody it’s doctor Jo and Remy,
and today we’re gonna show you my top 7 treatments for an MCL sprain. so let’s
get started. So the MCL are the medial So the MCL, or the medial ligament is very similar in the way that
the ACL is that it stabilizes the knee. so if you have a sprain, there’s many
different grades of the sprain. so make sure to talk to your doctor or physical
therapist about, when can I start exercising? do I need surgery? can I treat
it without surgery? so these are questions you have to ask somebody who’s
treating you in person. so the first treatment is going to be knee props. so
just use like a foam roll, or you can roll up a towel, you want it to be so
your knee’s kind of propped up off of the floor. that’s why it’s called a knee prop.
if you’re sitting in a chair you can prop it up on a stool or another chair.
and this one is really just trying to get that full extension of the knee. when
you have that sprain on that inside of that knee, that medial side, a lot of
times your knee will kind of lock up in a bent position. so you really want to get
that full motion back because when you’re walking, if you don’t have that
full knee extension then that’s going to cause a whole lot of other problems. so
all you’re really doing for this is you’re just propping your leg up and
letting it relax. so if you’re here, if that’s as far as it will go, just try and
relax your body for a couple minutes and eventually it should start straightening
out a little bit. you don’t want it to be SuperDuper painful the whole time you’re
doing it. if it’s a little uncomfortable, some tension, some pressure, that’s okay
that’s what you want, but don’t feel like you have to push on it. eventually you
can put some weights like above your thigh, but for now just do the prop just
so you’re starting to get some more of that motion in there. so again you can
just start off I maybe start with 30 seconds to a minute, but then you can
move up to three to five minutes just kind of propping it up and letting
everything stretch out. the next one is going to be a heel slide. so a heel slide
is exactly how it sounds. so again we’re still working on motion here, this is
going to start strengthening the hamstrings a little bit which go up
underneath the knee and are really important to
help stabilize that knee when that medial ligament isn’t working how it’s supposed to.
I like keeping the other side propped up just cuz I feel like it gives you some
stability and some push to bring the other side up. some people keep it down,
that’s fine, but I like it up because then that also takes a little pressure
off of your back, and if you’ve had your knee sprain for a couple days you’re not
walking quite right, your back might start hurting you too. so make sure that
you get some pressure off of that. so with the heel slide, all you’re doing is
just sliding it up as far as you comfortably can. sometimes that bending
is really tight too, so you might not even be able to get here. you might only
be to here, and that’s fine. just go till you feel that pressure, hold it for about
three to five seconds, and then come back down. so again just start off with
maybe five or ten of these, getting that stretch and holding it, and then you can
do two sets of those a couple times throughout the day. you know really try
and keep that flexibility in that mobility in the knee, and that will help
take some of that pain out of there as well. so the next one is to start getting
some strengthening back in the knee and the hip area in general. the the next
exercise is going to be a clam shell exercise. I like to do this one even
though it’s working the outer side, you really want to get those muscles
strengthened around the knee and sometimes if you start off right away on
the inside where that sprain is, it’s really painful. so I like to start on the
outside. clam shells are things that look really easy, but if you do it correctly,
it’s actually pretty hard. you want your hips to be perpendicular to the floor.
now if you’re having problems getting down onto the floor, up from the floor,
you can do this in your bed or on a couch. you don’t have to do it on the
floor. make sure you’re relaxing your head and getting in a comfortable
position. I’m just kind of propping up so I can talk to you, but the important part
is to keep those hips perpendicular. if you’re rolling back once you start doing
the exercise, you’re not getting those muscles working that you want to. your
feet are gonna stay together, and then you’re just going to take the top leg,
the one that you’re working and bring it up. so you don’t have to go high
because once I started going higher, I’m gonna start wanting to roll back, and you
don’t want to do that. you want to pretty much keep those hips where they are the
whole time and just move that knee. so again if you’re doing it right, the
first three or four might feel easy, but once you get to seven, eight, nine, ten, it
might be a little bit tougher. so make sure you take a break in between maybe
start off with two sets of ten. if you can get to 20-25 and there’s no problems,
then you can add a resistive band. and make sure that you start off with the
lightest one because again these are tougher than they look.
so you want to make sure that you’re not overdoing it. so it would be the same
concept and now you have that resistance to come up and then just nice and slow
back down. so again starting back over about ten two sets of ten and then
working up from there. so then the next set of exercises are is just going to be
a simple four way hip. I usually like starting the four way up lying down and
then you can progress to standing up, but I’m just going to show you the lying
down one for now. and four way hip is kind of exactly how it sounds, you’re
just doing a hip movement four different ways. so the first one is just a straight
leg raise. so again just kind of like it sounds. I like keeping that knee propped
up to protect the back and to give you a target. so you’re going to pull your toes
up, that’s going to help lock out that leg. keep it nice and straight and slow
and controlled. you’re just going to lift it up to about the other side. so you’re
not kicking all the way up. if you can’t get all the way up to there, that’s okay,
but just slowly come back down trying to keep those muscles nice and
tight the whole time while you’re doing it. this is a slow thing. if you’re going
fast and using momentum, you’re not really working those muscles. so again
maybe just one set of ten for these because we’re gonna go all the way
around. so just so I can stay in front of the camera looking at you while I’m
talking, I’m gonna then change to this side, but you would then just turn all
the way around doing the same leg all the way through. so now I’m gonna go on
to my side and so now I’m working this leg.
so the bottom one can be bent and you want to keep your whole body in a pretty
much straight line at your hips. pull your toes up tight and turn your foot in.
so you’re leading with your heel for this exercise, and this time when you
lift up go slightly back behind you. if you’re lifting and you’re bringing your
toes up like this, you’re doing a completely different exercise, and you’re
not working the muscles you need to work. so make sure you’re lifting with that
heel and you’re going slightly back behind you. you should kind of feel it in
this area in your gluts a little bit. if you’re feeling it in the front of the
thigh, again you’re not quite doing it how you’re supposed to be doing it. so
again maybe just one set of ten for those. then you’re gonna roll over onto
your stomach and now you’re just gonna lift your leg up, going into hip
extension. same kind of thing, you really want to try and lock out your leg, so if
you want to lie on the couch or maybe a bed for this one so you can have your
foot hanging off sometimes that’s actually a little more comfortable. again
lie all the way down if you need to. only prop up if it doesn’t hurt. and then this
one’s a little harder to keep your leg straight, but still try and keep it as
straight as you can, and just lift it up. it’s not gonna go as high because I
don’t want you to do this. don’t turn your whole body.
you’re just lifting that leg. so if it doesn’t go very high, if that knee bends
just a little bit, that’s okay, but if you’re going like that, that’s definitely
very different. so then you’re gonna roll again and now the leg you’re gonna
exercise it’s going to be on the floor, or on your bed. with the top leg, now it
could either go in the front or it can go in the back, whichever is more
comfortable for you. I usually find that the one going in the back is just a
little bit more comfortable for me. still the same thing, you want to be pretty
much in a straight line for this one. this is another one where that leg’s not
gonna go super high, but you still want to pull those toes up to help lock out
those legs. now this one might be pretty painful because you’re getting that MCL
right there is putting a lot of pressure because as you lift your legs gonna kind
of go like that, so if this one’s really uncomfortable, if there’s pain going
into it, hold off on this one. and then start working on it later once you feel
a little bit better. but all you’re doing is just lifting that leg up, and then
slowly coming back down. so you see, I’m not lifting it up very high, but I’m also
not turning my whole body to lift it up. I’m still trying to keep the hips pretty
perpendicular, whole body in a straight line, and just lifting up with my toes
pulled up. so again just about 10 of those. so the rest of them are gonna be
standing up. so now we’re gonna do a hamstring curl. with hamstring curls, the
biggest thing that you want to remember is the top part of your leg needs to
stay down or slightly back. sometimes when people come into a curl especially
when they’re hurting, they come up like this. but then again that’s not really
working what I want you to work. that’s taking out the quad the front, not really
working the hamstring in the back. so really kicking back this way, so I get a
little stretch in the front and that quad area. I’m working those hamstrings
in the back, so again if you’re doing this, that’s not really the exercise that
we’re looking for here. so really kicking back going as high as you comfortably
can. sometimes with hamstring curls, especially if you have an injury, those
hamstrings tend to want to cramp up pretty quickly. so the first couple times
I wouldn’t go as high as you feel like you can and then kind of work your way
up to it. so again just starting off with ten, two sets of ten, a couple times a day
and then kind of work your way up from there. so then the next one is just going
to be a single leg balance. balancing is really great especially when you have
some stability issues in your knee. once that MCL is sprained or injured, your
knee becomes unstable. you know a lot of times when people say they walk it feels
like it’s going to give out on them or it locks up because it’s not doing what
it’s supposed to. so balancing really helps with that stability in the knee,
but it might be kind of painful the first couple times you try it. so make
sure that you hold on to something. you can do counter top, you can do nice
sturdy chair, you can do something you know somebody in front of you holding on,
just so you have that support. but really try and get that balance.
squeeze those glutes to help get that balance in there, and once you feel like
you’re pretty stable here and that knee’s not going to give out on you,
then just try holding on with one hand, and then a couple fingers, and then after
that try balancing without holding on at all. again if you really kind of squeeze
those glutes muscles in and kind of tighten them up, that helps with the
balance and that helps with that general strengthening as well. so that’s really
good to do. I just start off with maybe 10 seconds and then work your way up to
maybe a minute, but really make sure that knee feels stable
before you start letting go of anything. and so the last one is just going to be
mini side squats. and again this is starting to work the inside and outside
of that knee. so if these are painful, go ahead and hold off on them. work on
something else and then come back around to them later when you feel a little bit
stronger. so it’s gonna be the same concept with any kind of squat. you
really want to stick your bottom back. so your knees stay behind your toes. you
want your weight to be equal on your toes and your heels. so I’m not up on my
toes, I’m not back on my heels. everything’s kind of flat on the feet.
and then I’m sticking my booty back. I’m keeping my back straight, bending at the
hips. so with a mini squat, you’re really just gonna go down a little bit, but
you’re just gonna kind of step out and then come back in. so again I’m not going
very far. eventually if this feels okay, you can kind of go out a little bit
further but make sure you’re doing both sides. if you just want to go three one
way, three come back the other way, you can do that. or if you just want to, you
know step out, come up, step out, you can do that, but make sure the technique is
right and only go down to comfort. if you’re feeling pain, then you can even
just do this. you don’t have to go down very far at all. just work your way up to
it. so those are my top seven treatments for an MCL sprain. if you’d like to help
support my channel, make sure and click on the link up there, and don’t forget to
subscribe by clicking down there. and remember, be safe, have fun, and I hope you feel better soon.

55 thoughts on “Top 7 MCL Sprain Treatments – Ask Doctor Jo

  1. Thanks Doctor Jo! Instant relief. Can I also ask you for any stretches or strengthening excersises for a kind of misaligned belly? When I look down my legs and hips even chest are all symmetrical however my stomach appears to shift off just a little to the left? Maybe something could be tight?

  2. Does it mean anything if the heel slide hurts? Like is my tear possibly more than just an mcl tear? Or does it mean my knee is still not ready for any exercises? Thank you.

  3. Hi, you say in the description, 'these exercises are for before surgery', but isn't surgery extremely rare for a mcl tear, including a grade III? (Unless it's come off the tibia or ACL also affected) I'm asking because I've just been told I have a grade 3 tear and I've only been given rest and physio…I'm slightly worried about residual laxity. Thanks for the vid.

  4. Hi Dr Jo, thanks for this. My specialist diagnosed me as grade 2 MCL, I wonder when can I start these treatments in your video? Can I start rightaway or should I wait a while until the knee gets more rest?

  5. Thank you very much for posting this information. I'm on day 3 of a grade 2 mcl tear and these stretches feel so right!

  6. Hi
    It's been three weeks since I have had a mcl pull( it's stage I). I have a mild pain when I do stretching. I can run, but I feel my knee weak when I run faster , I feel like it cannot hold my leg.
    What kind of exercises should I do to strengthen my knee. Is it advisable to start doing soccer.
    Pls reply

  7. How long does it take for MCL to heal from a mild sprained? I’m experiencing stiffness and bending motion is limited but no pain. Thanks

  8. Can u pls suggest exercises for pcl injury. I had pcl avulsion fracture with small bony fracture. I did not undergo any surgery. Is surgery necessary for pcl ?
    Pls suggest best exercises

  9. Cant fully extend my leg/knee but i can do curl hamstring almost fully these exercises really help thanks Doc

  10. Is it safe to this exercise while the MPFL hasn’t healed completely. I have grade 2 tear and scared to start physiotherapy tomorrow. My doctor advised me to not take of my brace for 3 week at-least and my Physiotherapist told me to take off my brace cuz it’s limiting my range of motion and should start doing this exercise . Is it safe to do this after 18 post injury ?

  11. Hi I have an mcl injury from past 4months grade2 even doctor said I'm gonna be okay in a month but still I feel pain what should I do??

  12. Thank you Dr. Jo, I have a question if you allow..
    I'm trying to run as way of exercising and trying to lose some weight..
    One of my feet has a plantar fasciitis and that same after running for minutes my MCL hurts.. can both plantar fasciitis and mcl pain related?
    Excuse my English

  13. so its been 4 weeks since my grande two tear. and though I can walk on it and go up and down stairs. I still can slant my left knee. so If I lay on my right side and that left leg goes straight it hurts on the inside. kind of feels like it's going to take way more than 6 weeks.

  14. If we wait to start these exercises after being diagnosed will the knee lock up? I have a sprained MCL

  15. Hi, I sprained my right knee 2 weeks ago. I can do all of these exercises with no pain but I feel a little bit of a poking pain when walking the stairs. Shall I still continue doing these?

  16. Is it normal to have a tight calf muscle with an MCL sprain? I am 3 and a half weeks post injury and also my knee feels quite stiff. I have full mobility in my knee as i can move it up and down. I can put some weight on my bad knee but it is quite bent and i can only walk on tiptoes

  17. Cool vid I'll be doing these!!
    I've got a grade 3 mcl and a grade2 pcl. Can i keep my knee bent while sleeping or do i have to keep it straight? I'm a side sleeper and im in a lot of pain at night, i also where a pcl brace. Advice would be much appreciated cheers.

  18. I sprained mine exactly 1 months ago. I iced it fairly often, wore a compressions sleeve, and had a brace on for 2-3 weeks and it still doesn't feel 100%.

  19. Hi Dr.
    I have grade 2 MCL, ACL and MEDIAL MENISCUS tear dr. Said that i have to get operated.
    But i wanna know if excercise really helps then i dont wanna operated
    Help to how i can healup my MCL, ACL and MENISCUS tear
    Please recommend me ur reply would be greatful to me

  20. Dear dr Jo, thank you for all of your knee videos, especially ACL ones. But what about LCL? I hope one day you will record some excercises for LCL… 🙂

  21. Thanks for the video!My knee got injured when I was playing Cricket. I am getting severe pain in mcl area. I was adviced to go for MRI Scan by Orthopaedic. After scanning, they said nothing is there in MRI.But I am getting severe pain in inner knee ( MCL area). I can't able to walk properly. I can't take even small steps. I used different types of madicine which are adviced by Orthopedic. But I am not feeling any change in my pain and now I am also getting pain in another knee. I am very depressed with my knee problem. Getting hell with this problem.Please help me in this. I will be waiting for your reply. Thank you…

  22. I love you so much..i have learned many things from you..you are so cute and helpful .i am also physiotherapist from egypt..i have a question my Rt ankle is cracking with flexion

  23. Great excercises for the knee thank you. What kind of lifting should I do for the knee and which ones to stay away from?

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